An increasingly large number of people of people are becoming highly sensitive. They feel things others simply don’t – perhaps you are one of them. If you notice the emotional state of others without even looking at them, or your senses can detect the slightest light, sound, taste, smell, or touch, or you feel the energy left behind in a room, you are an Empath. Some may call you a Highly Sensitive Person and look at you with reverence. Others may think you’re exaggerating when you complain about being overwhelmed by everything around you. Some days you may celebrate your intuitive power, while other days you hide in your bedroom.
Power and sensitivity go hand in hand. If you are an Empath, one who feels deeply, then you have great power. When we understand that power is the ability to perceive, it can make it easier to accept what we are. Once we accept our power completely, then we can learn how to navigate the world without being pummeled by it.
The first energetic tool we learn is to shield ourselves. Through the use of our imagination, we picture an egg-shaped light encircling our entire body, extending out by an arm’s length. Using our breath, we inhale our energy and keep it inside this protective egg. Our subtle-physical body, made of fibers of energy, is the part of us that feels. It’s what makes an Empath an Empath. (We all have a subtle body, but not everyone is fully conscious of it like an Empath.) By keeping the subtle body tucked in close, we reduce our exposure to the myriad of sensations. The shield, this thick egg shell around us, stops the energy we touch at the outer limits of our subtle body. At that moment of contact, we can decide to let the sensation in all the way, or to let it go around us.
Obviously it takes energy to create and maintain the shield. We have to feed our body well, we need to exercise, and we need to take time away in rest and meditation to allow ourselves to rejuvenate. We also need to spend time in water in each day, washing away and neutralizing all that we’ve come into contact with. However, this work is well worth the effort when compared to how drained we feel when we don’t take this special care.
The next technique we learn is Grounding. There are hundreds of chakras, or energy centers, within the subtle body. These are points where the fibers come together, and energy can be directed through them. For the Empath, four are of special interest: the base of the spine, the arch of each foot, and the crown. From the chakras on the feet and at the base of the spine, a line can be connected to the center of the Earth by simply imagining it. The molten center of our home is the ultimate recycling plant. We can dump anything there, and it will be transformed into pure energy, ready to take its next form. By imagining a line at each of these three points, we can then direct any unwanted energy, feelings, or sensations to those chakras and let gravity to the work of disposing of it. In order to prevent a vacuum that will suck in whatever’s closest, we also open the crown chakra and imagine pure gold light pouring into us at the same time.
A wonderful place to get a feel for Grounding is to find a patch of grass or sand on a sunny day and take off your shoes. Feel the sun energizing you as you breathe in through the top of your head, and with each exhale, allow all the heaviness you picked up flow out through your feet and the base of your spine. Once you get the hang of it, you can ground anytime in any place, even with your shoes on.
These two practices of Shielding and Grounding are enough for most people to have a balanced life in the midst of average people. Instead of constantly feeling run over, the hardest part of the day becomes the maintenance of remembering to put up our shield before we go out and grounding out what we no longer need at the end of each day when we get home. And of course, we have to remember to keep doing this throughout the day whenever we get knocked off balance.
For many Empaths, however, living an ordinary life is not enough. We want to grow, explore, and discover the limits of our awareness. For those of us who want more, we must learn to live without the bubble of protection.
Remember, power is the ability to perceive. If we keep our shield shut tight, we don’t experience all that we could. We limit ourselves to our own small comfort zone.
If we want an extraordinary life, then we must open up. By opening completely, without pushing out any of our own preferences, we feel everything as it passes through. Our awareness stretches, and we grow even more. The possibilities are infinite. The key is not to judge any sensation as good or bad. The moment we push our opinion onto the experience, we create a block in the flow. That particular strand of energy gets stuck as if on a hook, and it pulls us into the mind state or sensation we were hoping to avoid.
These hooks are attachments. In our subconscious, we decide we cannot be happy if a certain condition is not met. For example, if we are on the bus and someone gets on who is very angry, we might be knocked off balance. We feel the anger, with its prickly sharpness and heaviness and we think that person should not be so angry. We don’t like the anger because it’s painful. In this moment of judgement, we’ve attached our peace of mind to the condition that people not be angry around us. The hook then collects all the sensations associated with anger and pulls our mind into it. By recognizing what has happened, we can unhook ourselves, and the energy flows through us once again unimpeded.
For those of us who want to be able to go anywhere and feel everything, our practice becomes one of self-examination and spiritual growth. When we are knocked off balance, instead of looking outside to blame circumstances or pointing at ourselves with guilt for being too sensitive, we objectively examine the situation. We identify the attachment, and recognition becomes liberation.
At times when we cannot open completely, we continue to use the Grounding technique to let go of anything we no longer need, and we pick up our Shield whenever the world becomes too much. And of course, the basic care that’s good for everyone of eating well, exercising, rejuvenating with meditation, rest, and water is a daily gift to our being. With practice, these actions become second nature.
As Empaths, we are uniquely suited to advanced spiritual development, which comes about when we stretch our awareness to the limits and beyond. Welcome to the highest, happiest, brightest adventure of your life!
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